Tyler Dobson at Efremidis / Berlin

Tyler Dobson / Plastic Waves




Many people who came before me (and the people before them) have inspired this work and I just want to say thank you, even though someday everything may end up underwater again. 

– Tyler Dobson


In his new exhibition Plastic Waves, Tyler Dobson debuts nine large-format paintings. The presented works pay attention to the weather, artmaking and garbage. The artist often samples a variety of moods, formal and emotional references, ranging from Lana Del Rey to Mark Rothko, as well as Frecon, Gottlieb, Indiana and Coca-Cola. While these sources provide a cover, Tyler Dobson’s masquerade of appearances also exposes how fallible the artist’s subjectivity—or anyone’s for that matter— really is.


Repeating dots, dashes and lines anchor Tyler Dobson’s compositions. These shapes mimic punctuation and calligraphic marks and as such, situate the paintings in a liminal space between drawing and language. Imagine verbal forms as a sketch, always preparatory. Between his period points, waves and division lines, the artist bounces old conceptual conceits against visual pressures and exits.


Tyler Dobson turns Pop inside out and salvages it for parts. Commemorating the end of a cultural moment, these hand-painted canvases feel like celebratory tombstones. Something like a last send-up. The persistence of a single image has gently faded. It feels like watching the last grain of sand drop in an hourglass that will flip in perpetuity. Filling and emptying. Let’s hope there’s time to breathe in between.